They Like Me, They Like Me Not

How to respond to hidden agendas and private opinions

This article and The Sound of Clashing Expectations form a pair. Two pastors from two different denominations in two widely separated parts of the nation talk about the crunch of local-church expectations. Each has felt the invisible vise, and both have survived. Here they pass along helpful ways to manage the cross-pressures.

In the course of one month I received the following comments jotted onto Fellowship Cards at our church and dropped into the offering plate:

"We come to church, we pay our tithes, we read our Bibles, but none of us are going to make it to our final reward unless we start singing the 'Amen' at the end of the hymns. … "

"The van did not come to the university to pick up students today. Twelve people were waiting. I'd appreciate it if you could straighten things out."

"My dog is hurting. She has sores on her back."

"This year's offering envelopes are too small! Must now fold a check twice to insert. What happened this year?"

Well, at least these problems were out on ...

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